Bob Barker, the Enduring Maestro of 'The Price Is Right,' Passes Away at 99: 'The Preeminent Master of Ceremonies'

Bob Barker, the iconic maestro of The Price Is Right, has departed this realm, a confirmation PEOPLE can now offer. He graced us with his presence for 99 years.

Bob Barker, the iconic maestro of The Price Is Right, has departed this realm, a confirmation PEOPLE can now offer. He graced us with his presence for 99 years.

In his long-established abode nestled in the heart of Hollywood Hills, Barker succumbed to the natural order of things this week. Roger Neal, his spokesperson during the periods 1987-1994 and 2020, disclosed this sorrowful news on behalf of Barker's beloved Nancy Burnet.

With poignant words, Neal declared, "We announce with profound sorrow the departure of the world's preeminent master of ceremonies, Bob Barker."

Burnet, too, contributed her thoughts, saying, "I take immense pride in the pioneering endeavors that Barker and I embarked upon, shedding light on the cruelty endured by animals in the realm of entertainment, while striving to ameliorate the plight of abused and exploited creatures across the United States and the world. Our camaraderie thrived over these four decades. His absence will be keenly felt."

Barker's legacy extends to his half-brother Kent Valandra, as well as half-nephews Robert Valandra and Chip Valandra. In addition, a half-niece, Vickie Valandra Kelly, joins the ranks of his surviving kin.

The television luminary wrestled with a series of health tribulations in recent years. In January 2019, paramedics were summoned to Barker's Hollywood Hills residence when he took a tumble at home. Despite their presence, hospitalization was not deemed necessary.

Several months prior, in October 2018, Barker's manager informed PEOPLE that an ambulance and the fire brigade had responded to an episode related to a non-urgent back ailment at his Hollywood Hills dwelling.

Following these incidents, Barker's manager reassured that he was in good health and convalescing at his residence. These occurrences followed a prior fall in June 2017 when he suffered a head injury at home.

Barker presided over The Price Is Right for an impressive 35 years, a tenure that concluded with his retirement at the venerable age of 87. His final appearance on the iconic show, which is now under the stewardship of Drew Carey, transpired in 2007.

Devoted fans routinely queued for hours outside the hallowed halls of CBS TV City in Los Angeles, yearning to hear Barker deliver his celebrated refrain, "And now, the actual retail price is…."

Even as he embarked on retirement, Barker himself harbored reservations about relinquishing the role that had transformed him into a television luminary. He confided to Entertainment Weekly in 2007, "For the past decade or more, I've contemplated retirement each year, only to reconsider and pledge another year. I now lament that I am bidding adieu."

Barker's foray into television commenced in 1956 when he relocated to Los Angeles. Within a matter of days, he had clinched his inaugural hosting position on Truth or Consequences, a post he held for an astounding 18 years.

In 1972, he took the helm of The Price Is Right on CBS. This foray became an overnight sensation, earning its place as the longest-running game show in the annals of U.S. television, and catapulting Barker into the echelons of the most enduring game show hosts.

Despite Barker's forays into the silver screen, including a memorable role in Adam Sandler's 1996 comedic masterpiece, Happy Gilmore, his indelible legacy resided in the realm of television.

He once mused, "It may appear incredulous, but I have derived immense gratification from my stewardship of this show spanning countless years," in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Previously, Barker was united in matrimony with Dorothy Jo for 36 years until her demise in 1981. The union was childless, and the television maestro chose not to embark on a second marital voyage.

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